(Review by Lance).
Saturday night's Jazz Co-op gig at the the Globe said it all! An absolutely brilliant gig, led by the country's top drummer pushing four great young musicians to the limit. You enjoyed the gig? Then dig the recording!
Close your eyes and this isn't London (or Newcastle) 2014, it's a studio in Newark, New Jersey, Rudy Van Gelder has just recorded the hottest hard bop band around. Open your eyes - Jeeze these guys are Brits! and, apart from the leader,they're in their 20s! and nowhere near New Jersey!
Listen to what they do to Tony William's Lawra. This Lawra isn't "a dream" she's a brazen hussy inspiring Tracey to vent his emotions on the kit.
We loved Ojos De Rojo at the Globe and the amour didn't end there - what a band! I doubt if I've ever heard such a fine example of small group playing this side of New York City and I doubt if NYC has ever heard anything better this side of LA (Lower Ashington)!
Seriously, this is as good as you're going to hear in the idiom, anywhere.
As it did at The Globe, A Pint of Bitter went down well. Back in the days when Clark Terry wrote the tune for Tubby Hayes, IPA; Red Barrel; Ben Truman and, of course, Bass and Worthington, were just some, albeit not all of the bitters a jazzer may have enjoyed whilst hanging out in and around Soho. Listening to the music I can almost taste the beer.
What's New? is balladry at its finest.. The guys chill and relax - it's cool but it's not frigid. I'm sure the players, like all of us, have experienced that strange moment where you make small talk with an old flame whilst wondering if they/we could, once again, be a new flame. Johnny Mercer wrote the poignant lyrics to Bob Haggart's song but words are unnecessary here - the horn players don't need words to convey the message on this one.
Suddenly Last Tuesday - is the killerest dillerest track on the CD and I don't want to listen to anything else for the rest of my life - or at least until next Tuesday.
Clark Tracey Quintet - Meantime available now.